December 20


2021 Rowan Christmas Letter

By Mark

December 20, 2021

In order to save a single tree branch we decided to go green (and red … it’s Christmas!) and make the Rowan Christmas Letter available online only for 2021. All of us together, we can make a difference and save maybe … three tree branches. I assure you that this decision in no way, whatsoever, had anything, at all, to do with our lack of planning. 

Now, this is the part where I try to remember what happened this year. People like to cancel things these days so it should be easy to recall what actually took place.

Ah yes, it’s starting to come back to me. First week of the year we pretty much all had the big “C.” We were cold because it was January. Just kidding. We all had a virus called “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.” Thankfully it wasn’t all that severe or cute and we recovered quickly.

That didn’t kill us but something else tried! Jenny and I both spent time in the hospital with kidney stones. I had gallstones, as well. Time to lay off the rock sandwiches, I guess. 

You might be thinking, “Wow, Mark, that’s not a very Christmas letter type of subject matter.” Here’s the thing … we made it out alive. We’re healthy and in significantly less pain. So, when life gives you lemons you make a glass half full of lemonade or something. You might try for a whole glass because lemons are a natural remedy against kidney stone formation.

Things are looking up! The kids voted this summer the best ever! This was also the summer they all realized they have an elite Dad. So, it makes sense. It also could be attributed to life-altering summer camp, super fun family reunion, lots of pool parties and bestie sleepovers as well as a week in the Smokies enjoying what I like to call the Redneck Vegas Strip aka Pigeon Forge.

World Famous Jesus Bears!!!

What else… the sporty kids, Josiah & Addie, enjoyed a couple of winning soccer seasons. While losing is a life reality, it’s more fun to win for the kids and especially me. Just win, baby! The artsy kids, Elena Kay & Cassia, are making beautiful creations of artistic and theatrical nature.  Of course, I serve as their muse. Don’t ask them. Just trust me on that.

My muse is my beautiful bride of 21 years. She’s still fooling people into thinking she’s a college student. If that’s the case I’m a Professor of Women’s Studies and I only have one pupil. 😜 It’s Jenny. She’s the pupil. Just to be clear. 

Speaking of 21 years. It took me that long to get our wedding video edited. I did it, folks! And it was surreal. A real time capsule of emotions watching that for the first time. Safe to say the years have been very kind to me. Somehow I’m much better looking now. Or my eyesight is worse. Nope. I’m definitely better looking.

I don’t know about you, but life often has a Dickensian flair to it. You might have a story that mirrors the best of times and the worst of times. Even when circumstances seem to be at their worst, we still have the opportunity to find the best.

That’s how this whole Christmas thing got started. When the world was at its absolute darkest, God sent his Brightest. Jesus has a habit of doing that. In our greatest time of need, He faithfully shows up again and again. I know many of us have experienced “the worst” in recent times. The Good News? God has the best in mind for us. He is searching out ways to do good on our behalf.  He really is better than we think.

To borrow from Dickens one more time, Tiny Tim had excellent theology. His famous quote perfectly captures the Father’s heart, “God bless us everyone.” And He does.

Merry Christmas!


The Rowans

About the author

Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

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